On my journey to motherhood, and becoming the perfect mother I lost myself. One day I looked in the mirror and no longer knew who I was or what I needed. I could tell you what my five year old son wanted for his birthday or how my three year old daughter loved her eggs, but what did I like? What was my favorite movie? How did I like my eggs?
I had became so engrossed in my preconceived journey to motherhood I forgot about me. I forgot that I needed to be whole if I wanted those around me to be whole. The more I spent focusing on my husband, my children and making everyone around me happy, the less importance my wants/needs became. My identity was so far rooted in being a wife and mother, that Jazmyne Futrell no longer existed.
Reflecting back while on the motherhood journey
Turning thirty was eye opening for me, in good and bad ways. The morning of my thirtieth birthday I stared in the mirror for hours, examining myself, looking at every piece of me. My journey to motherhood, trying so hard to be this unachievable perfect mother had made me unrecognizable to myself and in this moment I finally realized what had happened to me. That morning caused me to take a deeper look at myself. Evaluating the past and questioning my future. Was this how I wanted my life to continue? Did I even want my life to continue? Did my life matter? Was it worth living?
Some of my darkest days were filled with thoughts of suicide, planning how to take my own life. Thankfully, I ultimately decided there was no way I could leave my children with their father. No bias towards him, he is an amazing father and an even more amazing husband, I just felt like I was being selfish. My children needed a two parent household no matter how empty or alone I felt inside. My children needed me. They needed their mother, even if I felt like no-one else did. (Cue Rocky theme music here).
Understanding your value is very important on your journey to motherhood…
Self care, me time or whatever you want to call it, really is something I hadn’t ever considered. I thought if I needed time away from my kids I obviously wasn’t a good mother. After all, having and being with your kids is what makes you a mother. What type of mother doesn’t want to be with her children 24/7, am I right? I can laugh at this now and yes, I have since changed my view point on this. Having time to yourself is not only necessary, it’s vital to maintaining a healthy mental state. Being constantly on the go, taking care of this little thing and that little thing, never stopping to rest and restore are the very reasons I landed myself on the bathroom floor behind a locked door crying silently as my three children frantically looked for me.
It was as those moments flashed through my head that brought me strength when I was lonely. As weird as it sounds, I found strength knowing someone needed me. I found confidence knowing those three tiny humans I birthed would always be there for me. No matter what kind of mother I was, my children would always love me. I could do no wrong, and therefore was already the perfect mother.
A new direction on the journey…
It seems like such a simple notion now, but it had truly escaped me for so many years. Was it society’s portrayal of the perfect mother in movies or on Instagram that had me hell bent on being something that truly is impossible, I’m not sure. But I am glad it’s over and I want to help other mommas. I know I’m not the only momma who has ever felt this way.
If you are out there holding onto life by a single thread and praying someone else has been down that dark, dark road and made it out alive, not unscathed but alive. Know that I am that momma. I’ve stumbled and fell down many, many times but I’m back up and on my way. I’m forming a motherhood that doesn’t revolve solely around the needs, wants and desires of my children. One where I am at the forefront. I took a leap of faith and am praying God is at the other end to catch me.
The perfect mother doesn’t exist, well at least not in that sense. Just be the mother your kids need you to be. Love them babies, and the rest just kinda falls into place.
Hang in there momma.